The aim of this study was to investigate the feasibility, the image quality, and the correlation with histology of dedicated spiral breast computed tomography (B-CT) equipped with a photon-counting detector in patients with suspicious breast lesions after application of iodinated contrast media.
Materials and Methods
The local ethics committee approved this prospective study. Twelve women with suspicious breast lesions found in mammography or B-CT underwent contrast-enhanced spiral B-CT and supplementary ultrasound. For all lesions, biopsy-proven diagnosis and histological workup after surgical resection were obtained including the size of cancer/ductal carcinoma in situ, which were correlated to sizes measured in B-CT. Signal-to-noise ratio and contrast-to-noise ratio were evaluated for tumor, glandular tissue, and fatty tissue.
Of the 12 patients, 15 suspicious lesions were found, 14 were malignant, and 1 benign lesion corresponded to a chronic inflammation. All lesions showed strong contrast media uptake with a signal-to-noise ratio of 119.7 ± 52.5 with a contrast-to-noise ratio between glandular tissue and breast cancer lesion of 12.6 ± 5.9. The correlation of the size of invasive tumors measured in B-CT compared with histological size was significant and strong R = 0.77 (P < 0.05), whereas the correlation with the size of the peritumoral ductal carcinoma in situ was not significant R = 0.80 (P = 0.11).
Contrast-enhanced B-CT shows high contrast between breast cancer and surrounding glandular tissue; therefore, it is a promising technique for cancer detection and staging depicting both soft tissue lesions and microcalcifications, which might be a substantial advantage over breast MRI.